Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Still deciding...

Those of you who have subscribed to my feed or dropped by in the past few months have probably noticed that I haven't posted since October or November of 2008. I just wanted to let everyone know what is going on and talk about the future of the blog.

Up until late October, I was using a wonderful feature on Spreadshirt that allowed me to browse specific designer's profiles then "grab" the designs I wanted to feature - "grabbing" allows me to sell the design in my own shop - when a guest design sells, the original designer makes their commission on the sale. In late October, Spreadshirt rolled out a new Marketplace format and with this, the option to grab designs from a profile was lost. The option to grab designs was still available through the Marketplace, however, the new search that was also rolled out with the new Marketplace does not work properly, leaving me pretty much stranded in terms of finding new designs to feature from my already designated guest designers.

This is when I stopped posting. This poor implementation of the new Spreadshirt Marketplace was kind of a blessing in disguise, I guess, since I was really swamped at the time and having a hard time getting my posts up on time. I wanted VERY BADLY to finish out the year at least, but it just wasn't feasible after the introduction of the new Spreadshirt Marketplace - as much as it angered me, it also gave me a nice and easy "hiatus point" for the blog.

So, the good news - Spreadshirt recently re-introduced design grabbing from profiles! Yay! One foot in front of the other, Spreadshirt, one foot in front of the other.

The bad news - I'm super swamped with all kinds of projects at the moment, including a whole new shop inspired by Pennsylvania German design - so, I won't be bringing the blog back (at least in it's original grandeur) any time soon. I want to start posting again, but I've got to think about a change in format. I think I was spending too much time on trying to be clever and that was one of my downfalls. I'm also thinking about possibly starting to feature designs from Zazzle as well.

So keep an eye on the feed. I hope to start posting again soon, even if it means just a list of five shirts with no clever write-up accompanying it.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Political Mix & Match

So, if you read my previous post, you'll know that I'm in Tennessee visiting some family, so I'm trying to take a break from working, but I must finish the Five Shirts!

While we were on the road we got to listen to the Vice Presidential debate - thank goodness for NPR. Since it's SO close to the election and I just happen to be sitting in the middle of staunch Republican territory, politics have been on my mind. Here's a few features and my political "spin" on them:

Freedom by Spokenvisuals
The Freedom design by Spokenvisuals is meant to be an artistic Christian design, but it fits well with the election. Many of the issues voters are concerned with revolve around our freedoms. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are common and ongoing concerns, but I think that freedom of choice will play a key role in this election. See all of the designs by Spokenvisuals at his site Spokenvisuals.

Palin -vs- Palin

We all know that Sarah Palin is a the talk of the election, and we all know that you either LOVE her or HATE her. Like it or not, I fall into the latter category (I'm not a McCain fan to begin with either). So, if you love Sarah Palin and you think that she's the best thing since sliced bread, you might enjoy the Supermom design (by Cardvibes). I've found many serious Palin supporters are moms that think she's the shit since she ran a state while raising a whole flock o' kids.

On the other hand, if you don't care for Sarah Palin and her rape-kit-charging practices, you might enjoy the Bullshit design (by Aspa). Do I really need to explain myself further on this one? See more designs by these two designers at their shops - Cardvibes and Aspa Shirts.

Can't everyone just get along? (Everybody Happy? by Spokenvisuals)
This last design is simple, but it made me think about the aftermath of this whole election. When it's all over, will everyone be happy, or will no one be happy? At least half of us will be happy for a while at least...again, check out the rest of the designs by Spokenvisuals at his shop, Spokenvisuals.

So, please visit all of the guest shops listed above to see their full collection of designs, or, if you're in a hurry you can find all of the featured guest shirts in the Guest Designs section at the Insan Art Store!

(PS. Vote Obama.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Narrow Way by the Naked Pastor

Well, I'm smack in the middle of the Bible belt in Tennessee this week visiting some family - it's the perfect time to introduce the shop and designs of my newest long-distance friend/colleague, David Hayward, aka the Naked Pastor. David is just starting out in the t-shirt business, but he's no stranger to illustration - he has a great blog called (surprise) The Naked Pastor featuring some really great religious discussion and original cartoons/illustrations.

So here's a little taste of the Naked Pastor. This design is called Narrow Way - it's an original design by David (but I helped him a bit in getting the vector drawn up properly for approval). David's designs are really thought provoking - I'm confident that more great vector designs will be coming from the world of the Naked Pastor, as he builds up his Illustrator skill!

Check out David's shop here: http://nakedpastor.spreadshirt.com, or visit the guest designs section at the Insan Art Store to get this shirt and check out all of our other guest designs...

Friday, September 26, 2008


So, this is the 3rd attempt I've made at writing this feature...I first started it on Friday afternoon before some friends were coming over for some grilling and beer. Things (for this blog entry, at least) went downhill from there. We ended up having a little Oktoberfest - lots of dark beer and plenty of sausage grilled over an open fire! By the time the night was over, I wasn't really in any condition to blog, so I planned on finishing this on Saturday. Saturday rolled around, we did a nice 12 mile bike ride and then decided to have Oktoberfest, part 2 - more dark beer, plus TWO kinds of sausage this time (and some other assorted grillin's - that's the spread from Oktoberfest night 2 in the photo to the left).

Anyhoo, no Oktoberfest part 3 today - we need a break! But, that doesn't mean we can't have a t-shirt Oktoberfest, right?

It's been a bit since I've featured designs from a our cool German friend, Jay, from Van Tribe. So here's five shirt designs by Jay - a little something I'm calling, "Jay-toberfest"!

Triple Skull & Lucky Skull
I know I've touted Tat2ts as the Master of skulls, but he and Jay are both heavily into the skull genre (actually, they do designs for each others shops occasionally). Jay's got quite a nice collection of skull designs including the tribal reminiscent Triple Skull and the Lucky Skull: skull + lucky clovers = great, unique idea (not to mention the dropping leaf - a beautiful touch).

Fist of Love & Hate
Jay has a really great graphic style that carries through all of his work, whether it be tattoo, tribal or even /graphic slogan based. One of my favorite non-tribal/tattoo related designs from Jay is his Fist of Love and Hate design. The design is so simple and clean, but the graphic itself and the message are so powerful!

Breeding Demon

A number of Jay's designs are tribal inspired (or mixed with tribal elements). I really like his Breeding Demon design because, frankly, it's quite clever.

Twinkling Dead Flower
Yes...he even does flowers - Jay's got something for everyone. Of course, it's with his own personal touch, twisting tattoo and tribal elements into one sweet, unique design. The dead flower concept is morbid enough for men, yet feminine enough for the ladies (and it's featured on Spreadshirt's brand new unisex tie-dye).

Grab these shirts today in the guest designs section at the Insan Art Store, or check out Van Tribe to see more great designs from Jay and others...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Campers by Gladditudes

So, it is officially autumn, but I'm definitely still trying to get outside for some camping - so what if summer is over!

These "Happy Camper" designs by Gladditudes are a perfect way to extend your summer (or maybe the perfect Christmas gift for your favorite outdoors-person - hint hint!).

Choose from 3 different Happy Camper themes: with pine trees and sun, with the classic tent/camping symbol and a very cute smiling Half

Get these shirts by visiting the Guest Designs section of the Insan Art Store and don't forget to check out the rest of the happy designs at Gladditudes!

27 New Designs from Insan Art

Well well, it has been a month since my last feature and what a busy month it has been! Over the past few weeks I've been doing a number of things, first and foremost grinding the rust out of my Jeep and patching and painting it. That was crazy. Then, I've been working on a book for my good friend Van Wagner. In between everything else, I worked on a whole slew of new designs! There's 27 in all including 3 new slogan/text designs and the rest are symbols based on real signs. Here's a peek at 12:

Three New Slogan designs:

Give Me Unlimited Internet or Give Me DEATH - This design is for all of us out there worried about the recent news of caps on bandwidth usage.
WARNING: May Contain More Than a Trace of Nut: This one was actually overheard being said by a certain Colbert on his report - it's too funny and so true, I need one for myself!
BEER, Now cheaper than gas! "Drink, Don't Drive." - This one is pretty self-explanatory.

lus, new symbol designs:

Various Animal Warning symbols including Moose Warning (from Maine), Squid/Stinging Marine Animal Warning (one of my ocean/beach favorites), Giant Insect Warning (those skeeters are a bitch), plus Bear Warning and Croc Warning (not shown)...

...various sport/recreational symbols including Technical Rock Climbing (and not shown are Climbing/Mountaineer, Kayaking,
Biking, Swimming, Hang Gliding, Swinging, Skiing and Spelunking)...

...various "warning" symbols like Jet/Plane Warning, No Pirates Warning, Radioactivity/Death Warning and the "Crotch Fire" Warning (plus, not shown are Cliff, Shock, Thin Ice and Tsunami Warnings)...

..........plus, one very special symbol design (green shirt, bottom right) that is honestly from a real sign. It is a Japanese Subway

informational sign. Look at it briefly, what's your first impression?

OK, ready for the spoiler? From left to right it means: Person with injured arm, person with a child, pregnant woman and person with an injured leg.

Yes, seriously. Not what it looks like, huh?!?


Anyhoo...click on any shirt to go directly to that design
section in my shop, or go directly to the Insan Art Store main page to check out all of the new designs!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Inspiration: Lotus - 5 designs by Giltlotus

Back from Hickory Fest - spent a few days recuperating (I'll probably be blogging about the weekend on the Insan Art Blog, sometime next week) and now my husband and I are headed out for some camping, hiking, biking and rock climbing, in-lieu of the honeymoon we're supposed to be on this weekend in Ireland (decided not to go this year because of the economy). But, before I go, I better throw down 5 new shirt designs! Being in a hurry, I'm doing a 5 design quick pick and as usual, a perfect candidate for this is Giltlotus, our resident Sensei of lotus and Asian inspired motif. Let's see what's she's been up to:

Chinese Peony Swag - one color & multi-color
This design is exactly the kind of shirt design that amazes me - Gilt (aka Amy) has got an eye for creating these lusciously intricate vector designs that still somehow meet Spreadshirt's design requirements. She must put a ton of time into creating these tasteful, yet technically printable motifs. I absolutely adore the multi-color Chinese peonies, but the one color version is JUST as striking!

Wave Kamon & Japanese Snake Kamon
If super intricate designs aren't your thing, Amy's got you covered, too! She's got an amazing line of Japanese Kamon style motifs (another I blogged previously) that are simple, yet striking. The wave kamon is a beautiful, clean example of a contemporary spin on traditional Japanese styling. The snake kamon is a bit more high energy with it's crisp repetition and tribal feel.

India Paisley
Amy's got quite the collection of paisley inspired designs, too - singles, multiples, one colors and multi-colors. She also has a number that are inspired by different regions. While I love them all, I had to pick the single India Paisley as my favorite to feature here!

Well, here's the part where I usually tell you, "Go buy these in my store!" Sure you can still do that - my store.....or make your own.

However, I wanted to put the link to Amy's designs she has available in the Spreadshirt Marketplace as well. She doesn't have a full store at Spreadshirt right now, so I encourage you all to check out her Marketplace designs here, if you see something you like, just click on "place the design on a product" to get started designing your own shirt.

You can also visit Amy's other shop, Ming Tees.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gone to Hickory Fest!

Well, I was hoping to get a quick shirt post in for the week, but that's not going to happen! I'm way too busy getting ready to go to Hickory Fest - it's a bluegrass festival put on by some good friends of mine in Stony Fork, PA. My husband and I run the security team.

If you're in the area and like great music, check it out!!! Can't get there but still interested? I have lots of pictures from the past few years on my photo gallery:

I'll be back next week with more all new shirts!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

NEW the Insan Art Store & Designs by Insan Art


The Insan Art Store is ALL NEW with a fresh new layout that matches my homepage, plus several new designs. This remodel has been needed for a long time. I originally started out with just the stand-alone Spreadshirt shop. Then, I upgraded to a premium account and started expanding - I used the PA State Store as a guinea pig to test remodeling options. When I had that squared away I went on to the Squid Shop. Then summer came - LOL. But, it's finally done. A few minor layout alterations to work on, but it's there!

The first new design that I absolutely love is Nigga, Peas. It's offensive, but overall it's funny. It's a parody straight from the actual Green Giant. I was going for a disco/pimp kind of look.

The next design, Will Thrift is one I've had started ever since I made Thrift Store Chic (which has been completely re-designed as well). It's a parody of the Goodwill Logo. I grew up on a healthy diet of thrift store visits and clothes with my mother being the thrift shopping queen (and I'm next in line for that throne), so I had both those things in mind when I created Will Thrift as well as Thrift Store Chic.

Another new design is I'm a ctrl freak, made with myself in mind, but I figured that plenty of others would get it, too. I'm an avid user of programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver in which your productivity is greatly increased by using keyboard shortcuts - many use the "ctrl" key. But, even everyday computer use can be streamlined by using "ctrl" plus other keys for things like cutting, pasting, etc. If you're truly a "ctrl freak", you'll totally understand this.

So, check out the all new remodel of the Insan Art Store and check out the new designs. As always, if you don't see something you like, you can make your own with our t-shirt designer!

Skulltastic Spectacular from Tat2ts

If you've been following along with 5 Shirts, you'll know that Tat2ts (aka Vic) is the master of skull designs. Along with that, in a world with a sea of crappy digital t-shirt designs, Tat stands out.

I harbor poor feelings towards digital printing-on-demand since it's opened the doors for any old Joe to put any old crappy, pixelated digital image on a shirt, or even worse, a whole slew of other products! This is not the case with Tat - he sincerly puts a lot of thought and work into his digital designs and I really appreciate that.

So, on to the skulls!!!

For a while now, Tat has been experimenting with "trompe l'oeil" type designs (fool the eye). One of my first favorites of his was one of these (previous post). For this design he says he was trying to get the effect of the skull "rising up out of the shirt", hence the name.

Gone But Not Forgotten

In this Vietnam vet themed design, like many of his other recent designs, Tat's been playing with gradients and he's done a fine job with them! Overall, it's a nice combo of skull and nature theme. I like the design best on white, but it is made to work on all colors and would even look cool on black.

Dead Planet

Another technique Tat has been toying with is morphing multiple images. Dead planet is perfect example of this and he's done a great job combining the earth and skull images into a quite a thought provoking piece. It's exactly the kind of "environmental" design I'd expect to see from the (proclaimed by me) Master of tattoos and skulls.

Go ahead and grab one or all of these shirts today at the all new Insan Art Store, make your own in our t-shirt designer, or...

...check out all of Tat2ts products at his site: